Kavin Panmeechao helps to bring Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “The King and I” to life at the Dr. Phillips Center

By : Jeremy Williams
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Kavin Panmeechao was bit by the acting bug early. He started acting on Los Angeles stages when he was seven and, aside from a break in his teens to “do kid things,” he has been singing, dancing and acting the hell out of stages across the world ever since.

Panmeechao has charmed audiences in A Chorus Line, Hello Dolly! and Bye Bye Birdie; as well as toured the country with the smash hit musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. He can currently be seen as Lun Tha in the Rodgers & Hammerstein classic The King and I, coming to the Dr. Phillips Center in Orlando Sept. 12-17.

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09.07.17 Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
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Musical theater is god to me. Yes, I subscribe to the idea that theater is spelled with an er not re at the end. Theatre is like pineapple on pizza. It’s weird. It just doesn’t belong. I digress.

Broadway ranks at the top of the list of my favorite things, right next to Air Supply, of course. I’m holding out for the day I get to see the Broadway show based on Air Supply songs. Can you imagine? My gay heart would explode! Until then, it’s enough for me sit in the park and watch American Stage Theatre Company put on Hairspray, or go to the Calvary Church to see Central Florida Community Arts’ concert version of Titanic: The Musical. Both were incredible, by the way. We are lucky to have such amazing local talent bringing to life Broadway shows that many people don’t get a chance to experience. We are also fortunate to have fabulous venues for Broadway tours to entertain us.

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Kidney Sisters: Rae L’Heureux wants to get the word out about Disney girls in need of an organ donor

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Rae L’Heureux is full of life. A California transplant from San Francisco, L’Heureux came to Orlando by way of a state grant that allowed her to help children.

“I designed a theatre program for at-risk youth,” L’Heureux says. “The state of Florida gave me a grant to bring that program here so I became a Florida girl. After the grant money dried up, I thought, ‘Where can I put my theatre degree to work?’ That’s how I got to Disney.”

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THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF WANZIE: What I did over the summer

By : Michael Wanzie
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School is back in session so as routine dictates it’s time to report – What I did over the summer:

I’m not a student, so the only thing that made me aware school was out in June was my inability to skip haphazardly though a theme park with carefree abandon – as I have been known to do from time to time. Instead I was reduced to a vigilant crawl carefully navigating and calculating every step so as not collide with another god damned stroller. Never-the-less, I thoroughly enjoyed my “Flight of Passage” on the back of a banshee in the new land of Pandora at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. I must admit all my pent up resentment over the fact the ride was nothing more than a cross utilization of the already existing “Soarin’” technology was quickly allayed about five seconds into this spectacular experience. It was actually worth the 90-minute wait.

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Orlando’s Overheard: Final trivia, Ginger Minj makes ‘Friends’ & closed attractions

By : Anonymous
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Scottie’s Last Day

For nearly three years, The Hammered Lamb has played host to Scottie Campbell’s Trivia Night, which raises money for Florida Little Dog Rescue.

Week after week, Scottie hosts on The Hammered Lamb’s outdoor patio, with many trivia fans arriving early just to guarantee a seat. However, Scottie’s trivia days are nearly over. The official Last Day of Trivia arrives on Tuesday, Aug. 29.

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Orlando Gay Chorus launches Voices United! Orlando youth camp

By : Billy Manes
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ORLANDO – For one week, everyone was a star, or at least a star in the making.

In an unexpected move, the Orlando Gay Chorus—with help from a grant from Disney—launched a chorus camp called Voices United! Orlando, a choir camp intended to raise voices to their perfect pitch, all while having fun. From June 5-9, 22 kids of middle-school age came together for a week of bass and treble, alto and soprano, all leading to a final performance that Friday.

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Wet Hot Gay Summer! Orlando’s big gay weekend succeeds despite the weather and a year of mourning

By : Billy Manes
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ORLANDO – It was the best of times, it was the wettest of times.

Whether it was a pool party or a thunderstorm, the underlying theme beneath the gray skies of Orlando’s resort area in its big gay weekend occupying June’s first week was one of water falling, often with thunder and lightning included.

For 27 years, GayDayS Inc., One Magical Weekend and Girls in Wonderland have been tourism drivers for the area, growing from simple notions of red shirts at theme parks all the way to huge circuit parties and even bigger profits. In economic development parlance, the annual June event brings hundreds of millions of dollars to the region.

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Disney was seeing red at the annual Gay Day at the Magic Kingdom

By : Jeremy Williams
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A sea of red washed over the Magic Kingdom for the annual Gay Day at the Walt Disney World park June 3.

Whether making a political statement or showing their Disney love, the red t-shirts were as much an event as Space Mountain and the Country Bear Jamboree. 

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One Magical Weekend’s signature event RipTide makes a big splash

By : Jeremy Williams
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One Magical Weekend’s RipTide, the weekend’s longest running party during Orlando’s big LGBTQ week, at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon was the place to be June 2.

The people packed the 52-acre waterpark to dance, meet up with old friends, make some new ones and ride some of the most thrilling waterslides in Orlando.

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Get ready to soak up the fun for one of the planet’s biggest LGBTQ celebrations

By : Jeremy Williams
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What started out nearly three decades ago as a day at Disney’s Magic Kingdom for LGBTQ families has turned into one of the largest, and most lucrative, LGBTQ events in the world.

The first week of June in Central Florida brings over 150,000 LGBTQ people from across the globe to the state and generates millions of dollars every year for the local economy, and this year is without exception.

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The Other Side of Life: Totem polls

By : Jason Leclerc
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Jason Leclerc

Who might have imagined that the irrelevance of Hollywood would become a totem to the nation writ large in the age of Trump? When I say totem, of course, I intend to conjure images of poles: the biggest poles, polls that now accurately misstate everything from presidential popularity to Academy Award winners.

We are pole-driven, metaphor-driven partisans who have bought into cults of personality if only for the fleeting moments needed to crush other cults. In 2017, we pit irrelevant reality stars against their replacements as if one were the President of the United States and the other were the former governor of California.

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‘Beauty and the Beast’ roars with monstrous $170M debut

By : Wire Report
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NEW YORK (AP) — Disney’s live-action “Beauty” was a beast at the box office, opening with an estimated $170 million in North American ticket sales and setting a new high mark for family movies.

“Beauty and the Beast” blew past the previous record-holder for G- or PG-rated releases, according to studio estimates Sunday. Last year, Disney’s “Finding Dory” debuted with a then-PG-best $135 million.

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